The 2022 Porchlight Business Book Awards Longlist is here! Shortlist to be announced December 15th.

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Books to Watch | October 25, 2022

October 25, 2022

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Looking for your next great read? We're here to help! Each week, our marketing team—Dylan Schleicher (DJJS), Gabbi Cisneros (GMC), Emily Porter (EPP), and Jasmine Gonzalez (JAG)—highlights four newly released books we are most excited about. 

Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.

This week, our choices are:

Ending Checkbox Diversity: Rewriting the Story of Performative Allyship in Corporate America by Dannie Lynn Fountain, Berrett-Koehler Publishers (JAG) 

As a triple minority who passes for a straight white woman in corporate America, Dannie Lynn Fountain has seen too many companies pretend to care about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) only for its public relations outcomes. In Ending Checkbox Diversity, Fountain explores how the current structure of corporate DEI lends itself to the continued oppression of marginalized identities. She examines the narrow objectives and metrics that allow for shallow or no improvement and how shifting diversity responsibility to employee resource groups enables companies to disclaim responsibility for making meaningful progress. She looks at the impact of Zennials and Gen Zers, the most diverse generations ever, and breaks down precisely why some notable examples of poor DEI initiatives failed (and what should have been done differently). And she builds a road map for what real DEI looks like and how to avoid the performative allyship trope. 

 

Inciting Joy: Essays by Ross Gay, Algonquin Books (EPP) 

In these gorgeously written and timely pieces, prize-winning poet and author Ross Gay considers the joy we incite when we care for each other, especially during life’s inevitable hardships. Throughout Inciting Joy, he explores how we can practice recognizing that connection, and also, crucially, how we expand it. 
 
In “We Kin” he thinks about the garden (especially around August, when the zucchini and tomatoes come on) as a laboratory of mutual aid; in “Share Your Bucket” he explores skateboarding’s reclamation of public space; he considers the costs of masculinity in “Grief Suite”; and in “Through My Tears I Saw,” he recognizes what was healed in caring for his father as he was dying. 
 
In an era when divisive voices take up so much air space, Inciting Joy offers a vital alternative: What might be possible if we turn our attention to what brings us together, to what we love? Full of energy, curiosity, and compassion, Inciting Joy is essential reading from one of our most brilliant writers. 

 

Purposeful Curiosity: The Power of Asking the Right Questions at the Right Time by Constantine Andriopoulos, Hachette Books (GMC) 

We have a love affair with people who plunge into new experiences and push limits. We admire those who imagine the unimaginable, solve enduring mysteries, who turn the impossible into possible, and help us evolve. In Purposeful Curiosity, Dr. Constantine Andriopoulos lifts the veil on how accomplished individuals channel their curiosity to a particular purpose—toward advancing science and human understanding, discovering new lands and opportunities or reaching a significant goal. Purposeful curiosity gets you off the couch and propels you to solve complex puzzles, and teaches you how to immerse yourself in the unknown with clarity, passion, courage, and positivity. 
 
Dr. Andriopoulos interviews Formula One engineers, scientists working to grow food on Mars, opera singers, visual special effects artists, storm chasers, venture capitalists, Michelin-starred chefs, and many others to learn how they used their curiosity to achieve challenging goals. Although not everyone aspires to explore Antarctica or found a factchecking website, we all search for meaning and progress. Whether we're trying to be better or the best in what we do, prepare for a new job or leave our current career for something more fulfilling, see through the “noise” of fake outrage and information overload, commercialize an innovation, improve health, or teach children the value of solving a puzzle, all of us can benefit from thinking like a purposefully curious person. 
 
Purposeful Curiosity offers nine essential lessons that allow us to make use of our curiosity, to empower and help you replicate the experiences of others in order to reach your goals and thrive. 

 

Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect by Will Guidara, Optimism Press (DJJS) 

Will Guidara was twenty-six when he took the helm of Eleven Madison Park, a struggling two-star brasserie that had never quite lived up to its majestic room. Eleven years later, EMP was named the best restaurant in the world. 
  
How did Guidara pull off this unprecedented transformation? Radical reinvention, a true partnership between the kitchen and the dining room—and memorable, over-the-top, bespoke hospitality. Guidara’s team surprised a family who had never seen snow with a magical sledding trip to Central Park after their dinner; they filled a private dining room with sand, complete with mai-tais and beach chairs, to console a couple with a cancelled vacation. And his hospitality extended beyond those dining at the restaurant to his own team, who learned to deliver praise and criticism with intention; why the answer to some of the most pernicious business dilemmas is to give more—not less; and the magic that can happen when a busser starts thinking like an owner. 
  
Today, every business can choose to be a hospitality business—and we can all transform ordinary transactions into extraordinary experiences. Featuring sparkling stories of his journey through restaurants, with the industry’s most famous players like Daniel Boulud and Danny Meyer, Guidara urges us all to find the magic in what we do—for ourselves, the people we work with, and the people we serve. 

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